FAA Investigating Boeing Whistleblower Claims about 787 Dreamliner

Boeing Whistleblower

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating claims by a Boeing whistleblower, who raised safety and quality concerns in the production of the 787 Dreamliner.

Sam Salehpour, an engineer who worked at Boeing for more than a decade, described in his allegations that problems arose from changes in how the enormous fuselages were fitted and fastened together in the assembly line. According to reporting, the fuselages come in several pieces, not exactly the same shape, and all from different manufacturers, leading to unwanted narrow gaps in between, raising concerns about the company’s manufacturing practices. Salehpour claimed that Boeing used shortcuts to reduce challenges during the 787 controversial assembly process, which placed excessive stress on major aircraft joints, and drilling debris between joints became embedded in over 1,000 planes.

Salehpour said he repeatedly faced retaliation, such as threats and exclusion from meetings, after revealing the engineering problems about shortcuts he believed Boeing was taking during assembly. His lawyer said that her client was silenced and transferred work on another wide-body aircraft, the 777, and later found additional problems with how Boeing assembled the fuselage of the 777.

The Dreamliner is a fuel-efferent wide-body jet built using composable lightweight materials, often made by combining materials like carbon and glass fibers rather than traditional metals, including major sections like the fuselage. Although these materials are lighter than metals, less is known about how they hold up to the long-term stresses of flight as comparatively newer materials.

The spokesman for Boeing, Paul Lewis, said they have done extensive testing, and there was “no impact on the durability or safe longevity of the airframe” and was “fully confident in the 787 Dreamliner.”

Following the incident of a door panel detached from a 737 Max jet during an Alaska Airlines flight in early January, the plane manufacturer has revealed a leadership overhaul, and the Justice Department has initiated a criminal investigation.

Salehpour is scheduled to testify before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s investigations subcommittee on April 17.

Exit mobile version